Fresh Wind Down the Silk Road (I)

BERLIN/TASHKENT (Own report) – To secure its influence in Central Asia in rivalry to Russia and China, Berlin is taking new initiatives toward Uzbekistan, the most populous country in the region. Among the five post-Soviet Central Asian countries, Uzbekistan has been Germany’s key partner for the past 25 years, even hosting a Bundeswehr base over an extended period of time. Now the German government seeks to reinforce it position in Uzbekistan by expanding economic relations. Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, in office since one year, is initiating a neo-liberal policy in his country. At the same time, Russia’s rise in influence in the economic and military sectors, alongside China’s greatly enhanced economic advances has put Germany under pressure. If Germany does not want to lose ground in Central Asia, it must act quickly.

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China may enter war against ISIS

China’s military may send troops to join the global conflict against Islamic State terrorists, according to defense officials.

Beijing is said to be concerned about the growing number of Chinese-origin terrorists who have joined the Islamic State, also known as ISIL and ISIS.

“The real question is whose side will they be on,” said one defense official familiar with internal discussion of the Chinese military role.

Rather than cooperating with the U.S.-led military coalition now operating against the Islamic State in Syria, Iraq and other locations, the Chinese military is more likely to join forces with Russia’s military, currently engaged in a large-scale bombing campaign in Syria.

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China Knife Attack Suspects Linked To ISIS; Some Chinese Extremists Returning From Middle East, Communist Party Boss Says

News reports suggest that Chinese extremists with links to the Islamic State group were responsible for a knife attack at a rail station in China last week. The news comes as the Communist Party boss for the far western Xinjiang province, which borders several Middle East countries, announced that several Chinese extremists were returning to the country after fighting with the so-called Islamic State abroad. Continue reading

A Ring of Fire Around China (II)

BERLIN/BEIJING (Own report) – Berlin’s main think tank for military policy has announced “war game exercises” for military confrontations with China. This year’s “Trier China-Dialogue,” to be convened in Berlin at the beginning of June by the Federal College for Security Studies, will focus on analyzing the “combat capabilities” of the Chinese armed forces. The forum will be concluded with two “hypothetical practical tests,” to learn whether the Peoples Republic of China’s military can “take over” and “hold onto” Taiwan or islands in the South China Sea. The conflict with Taiwan, as well as that over various islands in the South China Sea, impinges upon China’s vital interests. In both cases, the USA has adopted the position of China’s adversary as its own, therefore, in the case of armed conflict, NATO – and therefore, the rest of the West – could become directly involved. A supplementary objective for the “war game exercises” is the West’s rapidly expanding military presence in east and Southeast Asia. In the wake of the stationing of US troops, Germany is also strengthening its military cooperation with China’s potential adversaries in Southeast Asia and intensifying arms exports into the region.

China’s Fighting Power

The Federal College for Security Studies (BAKS) has announced its next “Trier China-Dialogue” to be held June 6. This will be the third time – following 2009 and 2011. The name is derived from cooperation between BAKS and the former junior political science professor at the University of Trier, Martin Wagener, who, last October, has transferred to the Federal University of Applied Administrative Sciences in Munich. Wagener is considered an East Asia specialist and will participate also this year in the symposium, which is co-parented by the CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation and Trier University’s Political Science Alumni Association. The theme of the symposium is: “Fighting Power: How Capable is China’s Armed Forces?” Continue reading